Skip to content
Home » Web3 Glossary » Mainnet


mainnet meaning metaschool glossary web3 cover

What is mainnet?

A mainnet is a blockchain infrastructure that has been fully constructed and allows users to send and receive Bitcoin transactions or any other kind of digital data that is recorded on a distributed ledger.

To further expand, when a blockchain protocol is wholly built and implemented, or when cryptocurrency transactions are broadcast, validated, and stored on a distributed ledger technology, it is referred to as being on the mainnet (blockchain).

Mainnet currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) have monetary value and are used for transactions as opposed to the other networks which are only used for testing. For testing purposes, the testnet is used. It can be described as an unfinished version of the mainnet’s network that runs in parallel.

Developers often utilize a testnet to test and debug all of a blockchain’s features to ensure the system is secure and prepared for the mainnet’s full launch.

Because mainnet currencies have monetary value, in order to create that value in the first place, a team will set up an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to assist in raising funds and expanding their community before the full launch. The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) can be structured in several ways:

  • Static supply, static price 👉🏼 supply determines funding
  • Dynamic supply, static price 👉🏼 funding determines supply
  • Static price, dynamic supply 👉🏼 set price and fixed supply from the beginning

Try over 200 RPC mainnets and testnet available here:

Origin of mainnet

You must know that Bitcoin is the first-ever blockchain that was introduced in 2008 and is said to be created by Satoshi Nakamoto

The origin of mainnet thus dates back to the year 2009 when the very first block – the genesis block – materialized and was consequently mined and recorded.

Mainnet vs testnet – the difference in layman’s terms

You can think of the mainnet and the testnet in terms of a vaccine. A vaccine contains a weaker and feebler version of a virion and its aim is to ensure that the white blood cells are aware of the structure of the virus. As a result, when the real virus attacks, the body’s defense system is prepared to fight it.

The feebler version of a virion is, thus, a testnet. A testnet is for you to play around with a network and mainnet is for you to apply the knowledge gained from the testnet in real-time.

The main difference between testnet and mainnet is that the former is a blockchain project whereas the latter is a completely developed blockchain.

Both have different purposes, security levels, and characteristics. However, both play an extremely important role. 

In conclusion, following the success of mainnet and testnet, fiat currency also has introduced trading applications that allow you to learn the art of trading by practicing with fake currency. Once you understand the dynamics, you can start real trading in real-time.